Back to School Activity:

Create Goals for the Year


Seeing students reach their goals is an amazing feeling for teachers and parents alike.  With school starting next month, we hope that all of our students can take some time and create new goals to get the most out of the school year.

Why Set Goals

The biggest reason to setting goals is helpful has to do with motivation.  Once the initial excitement wares off from getting back to school, students may fall into a rut and lose their focus. When goals are set prior to the school year, they are able to look at the big picture and see that they must stay on task throughout the year to get results.  Goal setting will also help you and your teen stay on the same page regarding any academic expectations you may have of them, as well provide you with a way to discuss their progress.

How to Do It

Good goals should be SMART.

  • Specific – When you talk to your child about their goals, ask them to be specific. For example, instead of them saying they want to do well in math this year, have them specify what grade they would like to receive.
  • Measurable – You can’t make a good recipe if you don’t know how much of the ingredients to put in. The same is true of goals; students need to be able to measure their success so that they know where their focus should be and how to reach them.
  • Attainable – It’s ok to be optimistic when goal setting, but honesty is a must too. If your child struggles with math each year and wants to improve, shooting for an A and not getting it could be discouraging. Discuss what is realistically attainable for them and go from there. You can start off by setting a goal to get a higher grade than they did the year before.
  • Results focused – Each goal should have a lasting result attached to it. Once a student sets and achieves their goal of improving in math, getting a better grade will help them result in a higher GPA on a college application.
  • Time bound – Setting a time limit for your child’s goals are just as important as the goal itself. For this activity, try to set goals that start at the beginning of the school year and will be met by the end of it.

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A Guide to College Talk

Whether your child is entering their first or last year of high school this fall, it’s a great time to have an open conversation about college.

To help guide your discussion, our staff put together a few talking points we believe are necessary for college planning.

Academic Standing

Talking about your child’s GPA and SAT is necessary prior to discussing their college selections. These 2 factors will greatly determine the schools they have the best chance of getting accepted to.

What Schools and Why

It’s important for you to know what colleges are on your child’s radar and why they are interested in them. This can lead to conversations about what they might want to study and you may be able to offer them guidance or advice they hadn’t heard yet.

The Cost Factor

Even if it is not the most important factor to your kids, tuition expenses can often be the deciding issue for parents. If you are helping your child pay for college, honestly discuss with them what you can contribute. This may help them narrow their choices.


Colleges vary in their acceptance standards and what may be acceptable for one may not be enough for another. Browse the website of each college they are interested in and print or write down the requirements for each school. Compare them to each other and identify any requirements that are not met.

The Application Process

The timeframe for submitting applications can sneak up on parents and students sooner than expected. Additionally, many schools have lengthy application processes that may require recommendation letters, interviews, and other references. Once your child narrows their school selection, encourage them to begin working on areas of the areas of their applications that take time. The goal is to make the process as soon as possible and avoid a mad rush at the end.

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Back to School Wisdom:

Advice from the Admins


A new school year brings new opportunities and challenges along with it. To help our students get the most out of this school year, our dedicated Summit Academy Administrators have put together some back to school pearls of wisdom as a guide for their journey.

What are some ways things new students can do to make themselves at home at Summit Academy?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Students at Summit Academy Flat Rock are like one giant family. I think you will be surprised at how many people will jump to answer your question or walk you to a classroom or activity.
  • Join a club! Clubs are great ways to get to know kids in other grade levels.
  • Introduce yourself! Reach out a hand and say, “Hi, I’m ______ and I’m new here!” I know it’s hard at first, but after the first time, it’ll get easier!
  • – Sally Racette, Principal at Summit Academy Flat Rock

What should new students look forward to at Summit Academy?

Look forward to a challenging, yet rewarding school year!  Middle school can be hard academically and socially, lean on your family and your teachers to help make this a great year.

  • – Alicia Jenkins, Principal at Summit Academy North Middle School

New students should also look forward to a smaller high school than what they may be used to previously.  We enjoy getting to know our students and we want students to share their interests with us. It builds a strong foundation in the years to come.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

I want our new students to look forward to becoming a member of the North Elementary family! They should be ready to learn in exciting and innovative ways while also making great new friends that will last a lifetime.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

How can current students make this year one of their best?

Current students can make this year the best one yet by being present and on time every single day and by showing effort every single day.  There is never an excuse for a “zero” in the grade book, always make the attempt and I guarantee this effort and attitude will pay off!  Also, students should focus on getting involved in one new way this year that differs from how they were involved in the past.

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

What would you like to say to students entering their senior year of high school?

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

This is an excerpt taken from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a poem by Robert Frost and I think it sums up the start of the senior year perfectly. While the allure of the senior year can be “lovely”, it is not the time to check out and become lackadaisical.  Seniors must remain engaged to be successful and to enjoy the experience.  They will work hard, but it will be worth it in the end. This is not the end, but rather the beginning of even better things.  Keep reminding yourselves that it is one step in the journey and far from the end of the road!

  • – Erin Avery, Principal at Summit Academy North High School

This may be the most exciting year of school that you will have! Your senior year is a time to set goals for life after high school, to reflect on all of the great times you have had to this point, and to make sure to take time to enjoy the present.

  • – Mike Bravo, Principal at Summit Academy North Elementary School

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Tips for Back to School Shopping

Back to school shopping has become such an integral part of American culture. In fact, many retailers bank on this tradition as a boost in their third quarter sales. As you scramble to get the best deals on school supplies and clothes for your kids, here are a few things to consider to help your money go farther.

  • 1. Stick to the list – Advertisers make it really easy to distract back to school shoppers with deals on items that they may not even need. No matter how tempting that new laptop may seem, if it isn’t something your kids really need, save the money for the things they do.
  • 2. Shop used – Every year we are amazed to see how much our students grow physically over the summer and we can only imagine how hard it is for parents to keep replenishing their children’s closets to accommodate the changes. Resale shops are incredibly popular and easy to find these days. Before shelling out a lot of cash on new pants and shirts at retail prices, even if they are on sale, check out the resale shops near you. This can save you a great deal of money on clothes your child may not be able to wear for long.
  • 3. Shop out of season – Yes, this one applies to clothes, but the same is true of school supplies. Historically, school supplies are much costlier in the month of August and in early September. If you can wait to purchase some supplies until a couple of weeks into the school year, you will likely find better prices.
  • 4. Feel free to stock up on essentials – You can count on the fact that your child will need notebooks, paper, and pencils. These items can always be used and will not go to waste, so if you get a good deal, feel free to splurge. Additionally, these items can also be donated to the school in order to assist those students in need of supplies. The same goes for Kleenex, tissue, and paper towels.
  • 5. Talk to your child – There may be things that help your child study or that they feel they need to help keep their home workspace organized. Of course discretion should be used (a new iPad is not necessarily a need). Still, we encourage parents to help students think about what tools will best help them succeed during the year.

If your family needs assistance acquiring the school supplies on your child’s list, please contact the school. We are always here to help.

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Back to School Tool for Parents:


Whether you have enrolled your child at Summit Academy for the first time, or your child is a returning Dragon, staying on top of their schoolwork is likely your top priority. We make it easy for you to easily follow the academic progress of your kids through the use of PowerSchool.

What is PowerSchool

PowerSchool is an online gradebook where teachers record the grades and progress of each student. As a parent, you are able to review this information throughout the school year and use it to help their child reach their academic goals. The system also gives you the ability to set reminders, receive emails from teachers, and to receive updates at home. PowerSchool can help you make missing assignments a thing of the past for your child by providing you with a backup to their student planner. We encourage you to utilize this information to identify problem areas early on and to reach out to teachers for help where it is needed.

Ultimately, utilizing PowerSchool gives you the power to take a lead role in their child’s education. It encourages an effective parent/teacher team.

Accessing PowerSchool

To access PowerSchool go to You should see the screen below.

If you have already signed up for PowerSchool, simply enter your username and password and click the “Sign In” button in the bottom right corner.

If you have not previously signed up, click on the “Create Account” tab in the upper left corner. You should see this screen:

Then click the “Create Account” button in the bottom right corner. You will now see the screen below.

Once you reach this screen, enter the correct information. You are able to sign up for access to up to 7 students’ records. You will need the Access ID and password for each student. If you do not have this information, please contact us to receive it.

After you have successfully signed in, you will be able to select your preferences and begin monitoring your child’s grades online. As always, please contact a staff member if you have any questions or need help using PowerSchool.

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